Steelers Notebook: Bradshaw, Roethlisberger clear turbulent air
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fields questions during media day at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Tuesday.
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Steelers' two greatest quarterbacks have kissed and made up.
Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger have had an icy relationship through the years that began when Hall of Famer Bradshaw criticized Roethlisberger for riding his motorcycle without a helmet. It peaked when Bradshaw ripped into Roethlisberger for the incidents that allegedly occurred in Georgia in March.
But Tuesday, Bradshaw interviewed Roethlisberger and the two are back on track, according to the popular Fox studio host.
"I wanted to sit down with him, wasn't sure he'd sit down with me," Bradshaw said at Cowboys Stadium. "I had to do a two-way with him over at the Pro Bowl. I called Artie and told Art Rooney [II] that be sure and tell Ben I'm not opening up anything. I'm not trying to be Ted Koppel. I don't want to win an award for this journalistic effort, or lack of. I wanted to tell him that what happened yesterday is yesterday. From this day forward we're going to have fun. Just relax. It isn't going to be a hatchet job."
Bradshaw said his Fox producer "thought it would be a good idea, and I thought this was brilliant, to go in and sit down with him, take everybody out of the room. And let the two of us sit down and have a talk. If you want to get it off your chest, get it off. Before we sit down and do the interview.
"So that frees him up and me so there's not any friction in the air. If there is, there is. That's fine. I've done those, too.
"And we just both came to the conclusion that we're Steelers, and we're part of that family. I encouraged him and told him that yesterday is yesterday, I got his back and support him 100 percent. But if he screws up, I'm going to say it. I'm not shy about telling you how I feel."
Bradshaw said he told Roethlisberger that, "I want you to break my records. I want you to win more Super Bowls than anybody. And there's no greater honor for me than to present you and the Rooney family another Super Bowl trophy.
"So we just got it out. We shook hands and hugged one another."
Bradshaw said he apologized to Roethlisberger, sort of.
"I did say to him that for my comments, if I feel it's necessary to say I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Basically, I'm doing my job.
"I don't want to hurt anybody. But I'm in a business where if you ask me a question, I've got to answer it. If I don't answer it truthfully, then I'm not respected. Also, if I answer it truthfully and it hurts your feelings, athletes especially are never going to talk to you again. That's the way it is.
"I did tell him that, 'For hurting you, I'm sorry,' but, 'I'll do it again.'"
Hines Ward pulled on his Troy Polamalu wig at Media Day and flashed a large grin that said, "Who, me?"
Once voted the dirtiest player in the NFL, Ward pleaded his case.
"Do I look mean? I'm just fine. I'm loving life. This is a great opportunity. For me, I just play the game the way it's supposed to be played. I just love playing.
"I'm not out there to try to hurt anybody. Everybody says, 'Well, he hits guys when they're not looking.' Should I tap on your shoulder and say, 'Here I come, hit me?'"
A new artificial indoor practice field is being installed at the Steelers' UPMC training complex on the South Side, Rooney said. The original indoor surface was first used in 2000. The work will take place starting this week. Also, Rooney said Heinz Field definitely will be expanded for 2012.
First Published February 2, 2011 12:24 am